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Another regional ISP forced to switch off Global Mode

13/04/15

News Release

Another regional ISP forced to switch off Global Mode® by media giants

Taranaki broadband provider PrimoWireless has been forced to disable access to Global Mode® services after being threatened with legal action from a conglomerate of NZ media companies.

PrimoWireless was one of a number of regional ISPs to receive a letter last week from lawyers representing a conglomerate of old-media companies in New Zealand; Sky Network Television, TVNZ, Lightbox (a Spark company), and MediaWorks.

The letter claims that offering of the GlobalMode® service to PrimoWireless’ customers, which allows customers to access previously region-blocked content from overseas such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, etc, is unlawful. This claim has not been tested in New Zealand courts, however the letter "requires" PrimoWireless to cease offering the GlobalMode® service by 15 April 2015 or face further legal proceedings.

PrimoWireless strongly disagrees with the claims that the letter makes and believes that the GlobalMode® service reduces the temptation to illegally download content by offering consumers in New Zealand more choice in terms of accessing content from legitimate sources and on their own terms.

PrimoWireless’ Managing Director Matthew Harrison says he is disappointed with the threat and believes that New Zealand consumers should have the freedom to choose which sites they want to access.

“We chose to provide the Global Mode® services to our customers free of charge because we feel like New Zealanders should have the right to choose which sites they access and not be disadvantaged because they live here,” states Mr Harrison.

“In our view these large and well established media companies are using their clout to try and protect their own interests, rather than doing what’s best for New Zealand consumers,” Mr Harrison continues. “They are trying to impose regional content restrictions in what should be a global marketplace.”

Mr Harrison says while they remain confident the Global Mode® service is not illegal, unfortunately as a regional provider with limited resources they, like the other regional ISPs affected, do not have the resources to take on the media giants.

“While we think their approach is outdated, we simply do not have the resources to challenge companies of this size in a legal setting,” states Mr Harrison.

Mr Harrison continues to say that in light of the legal threat, his company has no choice but to disable the GlobalMode® service from 15th of April 2015.

“While we will be disabling the service from 15 April, we are still 100% involved and committed to making sure PrimoWireless customers have a full open and 'global' internet. As such, we are continuing to support Global Mode® in their endeavours and we hope that this matter can be resolved in the near future, for the benefit of New Zealand internet users.”

-ends-

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